Rock Island State Park offers three ways to celebrate National Trails Day on June 7: (1) a two-mile morning hike. (2) An afternoon of beach clean up or a walk to enjoy the woods. (3) Creatures of the night with park staff. Photo Cathy Summerlin
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More Than 100 Free Woods and Water Events in Tennessee

There’s an old saying that “the best things in life are free.” And that may be the case for many of us on June 7 when events across Tennessee are planned for 22nd National Trails Day and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s (TWRA) Free Fishing Day.

Each of Tennessee’s 54 state parks is hosting events.

There’s also a trio of guided hikes scheduled at state natural areas, including Devil’s Backbone off the Natchez Trace Parkway, a tour of Middle Tennessee cedar glades and barrens during the peak bloom of Tennessee coneflowers and a climb to the crest of House Mountain.

TWRA invites all Tennessee residents and non-residents to fish Tennessee’s public waters, TWRA-owned and operated lakes and Tennessee state parks without a license during its annual Free Fishing Day. If you are 15 years of age or younger you may fish without a license for the entire week starting on Free Fishing Day and continuing through the following Friday.

There will be lots of smiles and fish tales aplenty to share as young anglers hook them up and reel them in during TWRA’s annual Free Fishing Day. Photo TWRA

There will be lots of smiles and fish tales aplenty to share as young anglers hook them up and reel them in during TWRA’s annual Free Fishing Day. Photo TWRA

Foster Falls at South Cumberland State Park is the starting point for the 12.3-mile guided Fiery Gizzard hike on National Trails Day. Photo Cathy Summerlin

Foster Falls at South Cumberland State Park is the starting point for the 12.3-mile guided Fiery Gizzard hike on National Trails Day. Photo Cathy Summerlin

Henry Horton State Park is hosting a four-hour float on the scenic Duck River for a distinctive National Trails Day Event. Photo Cathy Summerlin

Henry Horton State Park is hosting a four-hour float on the scenic Duck River for a distinctive National Trails Day Event. Photo Cathy Summerlin

Check out a few of the options planned in the Volunteer State for hikers and anglers:

East

Woods

Join staff from Warriors Path State Park for a three-mile hike to a spectacular view from Whitehouse Ridge. A two-mile hike along the Nolichucky Bluff Trail begins at the Crockett Cabin at Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park where the Appalachian Heritage Fair will be in full swing on Saturday and Sunday.

Water

Panther Creek State Park is supplying fishing equipment and bait for 20 lucky kids who register after May 30 for a fishing rodeo with prizes for the biggest and the most fish caught. Fishing for trout is on the menu on Big Creek at the Amish Mill Eatery in Rogersville, Buffalo Springs Trout Hatchery in Rutledge and the Tellico Fish Hatchery in Tellico Plains. There are also Free Fishing Day activities scheduled at Concord Park in Knoxville.

Middle

Woods

Be a trail blazer during Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area’s day of service to help clear blow-downs, repair trail tread, build and/or repair water bars, remove vegetation and put up blazes on the Middle Creek Nature Loop.

Bledsoe Creek State Park plans an afternoon hike on the High Ridge and Shoreline trails. Montgomery Bell State Park is hosting a night hike.

Water

More than two dozen fishing events are planned for the Cumberland Plateau and Middle Tennessee including trout fishing at Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery in Celina.

The 26th Annual Kid’s Fishing Derby gets underway in Cookeville; Crossville’s Catfish Tournament is on Meadow Park Lake; and Nashville is the site of the 12th Annual Catfish Rodeo at Shelby Park.

Catfish are stocked in Whippoorwill Lake designated just for children in Williamsport Lakes Wildlife Management Area west of Columbia. Laurel Hill Lake west of Lawrenceburg, Memorial Park in Hendersonville and Percy Priest WMA also offer young anglers opportunities to fish.

West

Woods

Johnsonville State Historic Park is opening a new Upper Trail Head with an opening ceremony followed by a three-hour hike. Chickasaw State Park is hosting a guided hike on Forked Pine Trail and Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park invites families, including dogs on leashes to a three-mile hike along the Pioneer Springs Trail.

Water

Among the 20 fishing events listed for the region are Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park’s annual Youth Fishing Rodeo at Eva Beach Day Use Area and Steve McCadams’ Casting for a Cure Kids Fishing Rodeo on Carroll Lake in McKenzie.

T.O. Fuller State Park is holding its first annual Youth Fishing Rodeo while Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is holding its 23rd Youth Fishing Rodeo in Union City. Other youth fishing events are planned for the Tanner Adams Pond at the Hatchie NWR in Brownsville and Lake Graham in Jackson.

I hope you’ll spend a splendid day in the woods or on the water.

Hi there! I’m Vernon Summerlin. Like many, I came to Nashville to break into the music industry. After years of striving, I...Read on

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